How to stop sabotaging yourself - Deepstash

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Where does self-sabotage come from?

The root of self-sabotage is fear.

The 4 most common fears are:

  1. Fear of Failure
  2. Fear of Success
  3. Fear of Judgement
  4. Fear of the Unknown


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Fear of Failure

“What if [my target outcome] doesn't happen?”


  • You start on your project, then procrastinate on finishing it.
  • You believe that if you don’t launch anything, you can’t fail.


764 reads

Fear of Success

“If I succeed, will I ever achieve the same level of success again?”

”What if I can’t cope with the work that comes after achieving success, and burn out?”

Result: You give up on ideas too early—right as you are about to achieve success.


686 reads

Fear of Judgement

“What if people hate or ridicule my work?”


  • You spend hours working on and “perfecting” your work.
  • Your perfectionism delays or prevents the work's launch.


656 reads

Fear of the Unknown

“What if [something bad] happens?”


  • Your risk assessment might be inaccurate.
  • You might not start on the project at all.


638 reads

Conquer your fears with the ICE Framework

  1. Identify your fear(s) and their stories
  2. Change the stories and beliefs
  3. Embody your new beliefs through experiments


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1. Identify your fear(s) and their stories

Before you can tackle something, you need to know what that something is.

The 4 fears listed above are just examples. You might have more. So:

  • Identify what your self-sabotaging behaviors are
  • Brain-dump the fear(s) driving each behavior
  • Identify the belief or story behind each fear.

The story or belief could be about:

  • Your abilities & lived experiences
  • Your familial and social environment


567 reads

2. Change the stories and beliefs

Question your stories and beliefs rigorously.

Is it a valid concern, or are you making generous estimations of the future?

Either way, turn those stories & beliefs into empowering ones that focus on what you can control.

For more tips on this, you can check out this Stash:


532 reads

3. Embody your new beliefs through experiments

Make your new beliefs your new life narrative using deliberate experiments.

Then, let the data speak for itself and guide you on your next steps.

For more tips on Deliberate Experimentation:

For more tips on "data collection" for goal achievement:


489 reads

If you liked what you've read...

You might also like my newsletter, Tea for Thought!

I’m on a mission to find life-tweaking ideas for designing and living an intentional life.

For every concept I discover, I strive to find examples and stories from my own life. This newsletter issue was inspired by 8 years of grappling with self-sabotage.

Come learn with me :)


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Developer of solutions, people, and self / Living in 7 countries in 4 years of CS undergrad at Minerva University / Intentional living newsletter 👇🏼


I used to self-sabotage myself a lot. Here's how I'm tackling it with ICE.


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